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October 22nd, 2016

A Captive in Rome by Kathy Lee
Rating: Hated (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Sometimes there are signs I should give up on a book before I start it. Things like this book being originally published by Scripture Union, this edition of it by The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. If I had checked the Amazon page, I would have found even more reason not to even give it a try:

Kathy Lee is one of Scripture Union's best-selling authors. Over the years, she has sold over 60,000 fiction books, helping children and young people learn about living God's way through fiction stories. Kathy has an amazing writing talent and is able to integrate Christian teaching convincingly into exciting, captivating storylines. Once people have read one of Kathy's books, they won't be able to wait to read the next one!

Still, I gave it a fair shot. For a book following a boy as he loses his family to war and is taken as a slave by the enemy, it was mind bogglingly boring. Nothing bad really happened to him as a slave. He had to work, but never really had to work much and was never hit or anything.

At one point he escapes, and is bitten by a dog. Some people of a super secret underground religion (Christianity) find him, and tell him about God. Just hearing about God makes the pain of the bite go away! I really should have stopped reading at that point, but I was hoping this would become 'so bad it was good' so kept going. Alas it stayed only boring and annoying, never got to the point of amusing. As the 50% point of the book neared, the religious stuff got more and more heavy handed, and eventually I gave up on it.

The Boy Who Drew Cats and Other Japanese Fairy Tales by Lafcadio Hearn and Francis A. Davis
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I read two of the stories in this book, getting to nearly the 50% point. There was nothing at all wrong with them, they were mildly interesting, but 'mildly interesting' isn't enough to keep me reading.

The first one I read was about how fairies punish lazy/messy people. That description makes the story sound a lot more exciting than it was. Basically they will mildly tease you (like dance around you) to shame you if you make a mess on the floor.

I also read the titular The Boy Who Drew Cats story, which was indeed about a boy who drew cats. One day he went to sleep and his cats came alive and killed a goblin. Of course the reader saw nothing of this, because the boy was asleep. We were just told that happened when he woke up...

Wild Blue: The Story of a Mustang Appaloosa by Annie Wedekind
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Unfortunately this was a children's book, not even YA. I'm sure kids might like the writing style. It tended to be very excited! Things happened! Look at all these things happening! Things! You can tell it's exciting just by the writing! It just didn't work for me. I didn't give it much of a chance at all abandoning it at the 4% point. I just couldn't put up with the writing style.

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